The Black-capped Speirops (Zosterops lugubris – del Hoyo and Collar 2016were previously listed as Speirops lugubris but were later placed in the genus Zosteropidae (White-Eyes).

Distribution / Range:

These White-eyes are endemic to São Tomé and Príncipe – an island country of Central Africa, located on the Equator in the Gulf of Guinea. equatorial coast of Central Africa. 

They are usually seen in small to large groups and may join mixed flocks.  They can be found in forests and plantations, but prefer highland forest above 900 meters. Their natural range is about 970 km2. 

Black-capped Speirop (Speirops lugubris)


They are named for their conspicuous broad, white eye rings.  These birds are bulky with a grey-olive plumage, which is darker on the underside.  They have a matt black crown and nape (back of the head).   The bill is pinkish-brown. There is a thin buffy line between nostril and the white lores (=the area between beak and eyes); and there is a white line from the shoulders to the flanks.   Average weight: 15 grams.  They measure from 13.5-15 cm, including the tail.

Similar Species:

Sao Tome White-eye:  slightly smaller in size with a duller plumage that lacks the distinctive dark cap. 

Calls / Song:

Loud, rolling musical song and demure chittering. 

Global Names:

  • English:  Black-capped Speirops
  • Catalan:  zostèrops de l’illa Sao Tomé
  • Czech:  kruhoočko svatotomášské
  • Danish:  São Tomé-brillefugl
  • German:  Schwarzscheitel-Brillenvogel
  • Spanish:  Anteojitos Lúgubre
  • Spanish (Spain):  Anteojitos lúgubre
  • Finnish:  mustalakkirilli
  • French:  Zostérops de Sao Tomé
  • Croatian:  crnokapa bjelooka
  • Hungarian:  feketesapkás ősposzáta
  • Italian:  Speirope capinero
  • Japanese (romaji):  zuguromejiromodoki
  • Japanese:  ズグロメジロモドキ
  • Lithuanian:  Juodagalvis speiropsas
  • Dutch:  Rouwbrilvogel
  • Norwegian:  Svartkronespeirops
  • Polish: szlarnik żałobny
  • Portuguese:  Olho-branco-de-são-tomé
  • Russian: Тёмная белоглазка
  • Slovak: okánik smútočný
  • Serbian: Crnokapa speirops belooka
  • Swedish:  sãotoméspeirops
  • Ukrainian:  Затоківка чорноголова
  • Chinese:  黑顶绣眼鸟
  • Chinese (Traditional):  聖多美黑冠繡眼